Monday, July 19, 2010

Letter to County Councilman Barbara Fraser

Dear Councilman Fraser,

I found an interesting survey conducted just before the November 2006 election in Ohio. The survey found that smoking bans with exemptions are preferred by both the general public and likely voters over complete bans. This supports our contention that the exemptions in your St. Louis County smoking ban made it more popular with County voters than it would have been had a strict smoking ban that included bars had been proposed. Here is the relevant passage from the attached survey:

"Smoking Ban without exception
Yes 42.6 47.7
No 46.9 43.9
Undecided 10.5 8.4
Smoking Ban with exceptions
Yes 51.4 52.5
No 33.8 36.1
Undecided 14.8 11.4

A proposed ban on smoking in public places without exceptions garners 43% support from the general public and 47% opposition. However, the figures are reversed among likely voters, where the proposition leads 48 to 44%. This was the only example where the preferences of the public in general and likely voters differ for ballot proposals.

A proposal to ban smoking in public places with some exceptions was more popular, with a majority of both the general public and likely voters supporting it."

Councilman Fraser, this survey lines up very nicely with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 2007 survey which found that though 58.3 percent of County residents support a smoke-free workplace law, only 30.2 percent want smoking banned in bars and cocktail lounges. Both surveys are evidence that County residents do not want a smoking ban that includes all bars as smoking ban proponents contend.


Bill Hannegan